Parking is the number one frustration of our guests. In this update, we’re going to explain to you why we do what we do and where all that money goes. We want to share the details with you as we work to improve parking & transportation in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Our parking pass offers the best and most hassle-free way to park with us this winter. This year we are offering a midweek, Monday-Thursday, non-holiday parking pass for $99. This pass partners well with our $399 midweek pass which offers Monday-Thursday skiing with only a few blackout days. Combined, you’ve got one of the best deals in the Wasatch.
We did increase our regular, unlimited parking pass rates this season. Even though the pass is more expensive, keep in mind that we are planning to extend our season length by almost 20 days and greatly extend our open lift hours. This season we’ll have way more 8:00 a.m. lift openings and 5:00 p.m. closings, adding over 200 more lift hours for skiing and riding. Pass holders can also apply their parking pass to two license plates.
When it comes to day parking, we are leaning into dynamic pricing. That means higher rates on the peak days of the season. The most significant price increase comes when you arrive with two or fewer people on peak days.
We really want to reward those of you who can adjust your schedule to ski midweek and during off-peak periods. And we want to incentive carpooling. Statistically speaking, our carpool incentives work. Five years ago, we were seeing about 1.5 visitors per vehicle. Now we’re seeing around 2.7 or 2.8. Approaching three visitors per vehicle is tremendous. About 40 percent of vehicles showing up here now have three or more passengers. If you have four or more people in your vehicle, you can park every day, all season, for free! Please make sure to get a code from the parking attendant and submit that via one of the kiosks or your phone in order to qualify for free parking.
Solitude now offers a free overnight gear check in the bottom of Moonbeam Lodge. Stash your skis or board with us to free up car seats when you plan to drive and ski multiple days. Whether you carpool or not, you can park for free every day after 2:00 p.m.
Yes, we do make money from paid parking, but there are many factors at play. Some of our parking revenue goes to the company that manages our parking program, and much of the remainder goes towards other parking and transportation-related costs. About two-thirds of Solitude’s piece of the parking pie goes to UTA to help pay for the ski bus. The Uta Ski Bus is free for Solitude and Ikon Pass holders. Solitude picks up the fee for everyone who uses their Solitude or Ikon Pass to ride the bus to and from Solitude. Bus ridership has increased by 180 percent over the last few years. Additional funds go towards Solitude’s employee carpooling incentive program. More details on this program are available in the video.
With all this talk of carpooling, it’s a good time to note that Solitude has been developing a rideshare app that is almost ready for you to use. This app will allow you to both find and offer rides up and down the mountain and even earn rewards like free skiing and gear.
In addition to parking programs targeting the public, Solitude has also created carpooling initiatives for employees to free up additional parking spaces and help reduce canyon congestion. We’ve increased the number of employee shuttles (those UTA vans you’ve probably noticed at the mouth of the canyon) and provided additional employee incentives for utilizing them, especially on peak days. We’re also partnering with our friends at Brighton to secure employee parking away from the main Park & Ride lots at the bottom of the canyon.
Solitude does not own the lands along the roadway outside the resort or control the signage or cones there. If you do park on the road, follow all signage and make sure all four of your tires are on the far side of the white line. Check where the white line is, even when there is snow on the road. The town of Brighton has updated its laws and roadside violations will cost you $150.
All four Cottonwoods resorts now have some form of paid parking. Solitude will continue to incentivize carpooling, support public access initiatives, and work with key partners to make things better.
Moving into the holidays, Solitude now has 8:00 a.m. lifts spinning daily. Link, Moonbeam, and Apex lifts start running at 8:00 a.m. Friday through Sunday, and Eagle lift starts running at 8:00 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Check our website for additional details and download the Solitude app to get the latest and greatest info.
To catch up on previous Amber’s Updates, visit https://blog.solitudemountain.com/category/ambers-updates/